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CELTIC: THREE IN, TWO OUT?

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ANGE POSTECOGLOU is preparing for some hectic involvement when the transfer window reopens in a month’s time.

The Celtic boss could see THREE players arrive while TWO are on the brink of moving out as he reshapes his champions’ squad in the bid for their second successive title.

Postecoglou has been linked with a daring swoop for South Korea’s World Cup striker Cho Gue-sung while Vissel Kobe central defender Yuki Kobayashi has already agreed a five-year deal and is expected to be unveiled this month before the move is rubber-stamped on January 1 2023.

ALL SYSTEMS CHO…South Korean striker Cho Gue-sung is on Ange Postecoglou’s radar.

Right-back Alistair Johnston is on his way once Canada’s interest in the global extravaganza in Qatar officially ends against Morocco this afternoon following the loss of their first two Group F games against Belgium and Croatia.

A transfer fee of around the £3.5million mark has been agreed between the Parkhead club and CF Montreal for the 24-year-old defender who cost only £800,000 when he made the switch to the MLS outfit from Nashville a year ago.

South Korea’s towering hitman Cho hit the headlines on Monday with a double in his country’s 3-2 loss to Ghana which has alerted European scouts.

He is well known to Postecoglou who has tracked his progress ever since he scored against his Yokohama F Marinos team in the Asian Champions League in February 2020, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

HIGH AND MIGHTY…Alistair Johnston outjumps Josip Juranovic during Canada’s 4-1 loss to Croatia. 

Now the Hoops gaffer is ready to make his move for the player who has had a convincing campaign in Korea with 21 goals in 35 games in all competitions for current side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and army team Gimcheon Sangmu.

Cho, who has claimed six goals in 18 international appearances, will go into the shop window again when he plays against Portugal tomorrow afternoon.

The interest from the Hoops in the frontman breaks at the same time there are reports Greece international forward Giakoumakis has knocked back a contract extension at the club.

ON MY WAY…Japanese central defender Yuki Kobayashi has agreed a five-year deal with the champions.

The 27-year-old attacker is under contract until June 2026 after joining in a £2.5million switch from Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo in August last year.

Giakoumakis completed his debut campaign with 19 goals – one behind top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi – in all competitions after just one strike in the first half of the term.

He has netted eight strikes this time around and was offered an enhanced contract last month, but it appears the Greek is not happy with the terms and could be on his way next month.

Croatia World Cup right-back Josip Juranovic has seen his value soar since his £2.5million arrival from Legia Warsaw in August last year.

KISS GOODBYE…Giorgos Giakoumakis has been reported to be unhappy with personal terms in contract extension.

The 27-year-old has already been linked with Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United and it looks as though a shift is inevitable.

A claim that West Ham are prepared to pay £5million for the player appears to be wide of the mark with the Hoops unlikely to be tempted at that price for Juranovic who, like Giakoumakis, is under contract until June 2026.

In the last January transfer window, Postecoglou welcomed J-League trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, Matt O’Riley, £1.5million from MK Dons, and Irish teenage striker Jonny Kenny, from Sligo Rovers, to the club.

It looks as though it is going to be every bit as busy this time around.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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